So, our next book is ‘Room’ by Emma Donoghue. I can’t put it down to be honest but I can’t say that I’m enjoying it! I just want to get to the end of it! I don’t particularly like her style of writing as I am not convinced that I am reading the words of a 5 year old. On the other hand, it is heart-wrenching and stirs up all kinds of emotions. Thoughts please?
Our Book Club meeting was held this week at The Celtic Lodge . It was a nice venue and I must plug the Nachos! There was a mountain of them and they were great!
So to the book. We had so many different views of this book. Shocking, disturbing, claustrophobic to name a few. We really took ‘Room’ to pieces!! We had lots of different and similar opinions to share with some hating the book and some loving it! A bit like Marmite, I suppose. I changed my mind about it somewhat after hearing others’ views and looking at the story from a different angle. However, it is definitely not a book that I will re-read! Bev gave the book the most praise. She started reading it with very little enthusiasm but went back and started again, and changed her opinion altogether. She was completely taken by Ma’s strength throughout the story and her protectiveness towards the boy, while others disliked Ma altogether and were angry at her for being so weak. She was bland and emotionless but I assume we felt this way as the story was narrated through the eyes of a 5 year old who didn’t understand what was going on around him resulting in the reader unable to forge an emotional bond with Ma, especially during those horrid visits form ‘old Nick’. To Jack, Old Nick simply brought groceries to them and an occasional birthday present.
Then we discussed the fact that there was no contact of any kind between Jack and ‘Old Nick’ for 5 years! Again, we were divided with some thinking that it was a totally impossible concept and others believing that Ma once again was protecting her son form evil and he should not look into the eyes of the devil, or was the author not making a character of ‘Old Nick’ because the story was not about him and the less we knew of him the better. The media always sensationalises the abductor and his/her sinful deeds in cases like this one, delving into his/her backgrounds and wondering how they became the misguided people they turn into. But this doesn’t happen to ‘Old Nick’.
Although I personally could not put the book down, it was more more due to the desire to know what was going to happen in the end and to get the whole reading experience over and done with, rather than being thrilled by each page. I felt no suspense at all while reading it. and was simply reding words on a page. Again I think it was because the author confines her point of view to Jack.
Then we have the implausible ‘Escape’! For some reason the reading became easier and more comfortable in the second half of the book. Everyone felt this so I would definitely say this is a strength of the author. The first part was difficult to read because we have never experienced such a situation. We have never had to live in a small room for 10 years with no contact with the outside world. We haven’t had to bring up a child who has been imprisoned all his life with his mother being the only person he has had any human contact with. Her writing made us feel uncomfortable and it was incomprehensible. Then they hit the outside world and the style of writing changes and it becomes easier to read. Very clever writing there form Donaghue.
I could go on and on but hopefully the Book Club members will contribute to this blog with their views.
Here are some Tweets about the book:
Reading ‘Room’ by Emma Donaghue. Such an interesting concept for a novel; excellent writing style as well.
— Emma Jayne Shores (@greywillfade) 8 April 2015
Read the book “Room” by Emma Donaghue. I will be disturbed for days! Couldn’t put the book down but disturbing.
— Somebody’s Grandma (@shire293) 3 November 2012
‘Room’ has been made into a film! We need a DVD night now! Here is a sneak preview: